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To new export horizons

  • Published at 12:05 am July 11th, 2019
Export, containers
Photo: BIGSTOCK

It is about time that Bangladesh explored new markets and reduced dependency on a handful of markets

The United States and European countries have traditionally been the go-to destinations for Bangladeshi exports -- over 71% of the country’s total exports are limited to only 10 countries -- but it is about time that Bangladesh explored new markets and reduced dependency on a handful of markets.

While we have made progress on this front -- at one point, 65% of Bangladesh’s total export volume was limited to the US, which is now 17% -- there remains little doubt that, in order to make the next step in our development journey as a nation, we must explore the potential of other markets.

At the heart of the matter remains our inability to diversify our export basket, with RMG remaining the single product dominating our export numbers, and as we focus on product diversification, there is potential to meet demand in other markets around the world.

With the ongoing trade war between the US and China, there has never been a better time for countries such as Bangladesh to capitalize on its ripple effects, and the government must seize this opportunity.

The authorities deserve credit for already providing certain incentives, but what is vital is calculating the effectiveness of incentives while having a sound strategy to identify potential markets.

The next few years will be crucial for Bangladesh’s economy, with middle income status well within our sights, and although our growth in recent years has been admirable, we need to diversify our export destinations, and focus on product diversification as well, if we are to maintain our ascent.